October 29, 2013 in Business

In brief: Google stock split plan approved by judge

From Wire Reports
 

WILMINGTON, Del. – A Delaware judge on Monday approved a settlement in a shareholder lawsuit challenging Google Inc.’s plans to split its stock and issue a new class of nonvoting shares.

The ruling by Chancellor Leo Strine Jr. clears the way for the Internet search leader to issue shares of “Class C” nonvoting stock for each share of existing stock.

The judge approved the settlement despite noting that, while it is designed to ensure that co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin retain control of Mountain View, Calif.-based Google, the two are not being forced to give any concessions to other shareholders. Instead, like other shareholders, Page and Brin will receive Class C shares in an amount equal to their current Class B stock holdings: more than 24 million shares each.

“There’s no economic sacrifice,” Strine told Jeffrey Block, an attorney representing shareholders who filed the lawsuit in April 2012.

At the same time, Strine noted that Google, under the leadership of Page and Brin, has been “a rather astonishing market success,” implying that there’s currently no reason to second-guess the company’s governance.

U.S. stocks set record with small-margin gain

NEW YORK – It was another record day for stocks, but barely.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 index closed at an all-time high Monday, but by a small margin. The S&P 500 edged up 2.34 points, or 0.1 percent, to a record 1,762.11 after good news from J.C. Penney offset disappointing earnings from a few U.S. companies.

J.C. Penney rose the most in the index after the retailer’s CEO said sales were improving. That helped stocks overcome poor earnings and a weak forecast from drugmaker Merck. Roper Industries, a medical and industrial equipment manufacturer, also lowered its earnings estimate for the year.

The S&P 500 has performed well in October, closing at an all-time high six times. A deal in Washington that ended a partial government shutdown and kept the U.S. government from defaulting on its debt has helped drive up the index.

Time Warner upgrades fastest Internet speed

LOS ANGELES – Time Warner Cable Inc. is doubling the Internet speed of its fastest product and more than halving the price of its lowest-speed product to compete with its telecom rivals AT&T and Verizon.

The nation’s second-largest cable TV provider is doubling the download speed of its top-tier “Ultimate” service to 100 Megabits per second. The speed upgrade is being rolled out now to customers in Los Angeles and will come to New York City and Hawaii by the end of the year. The “Ultimate” tier costs $105 per month without promotional pricing.

The offer is slightly faster and more expensive than a 75 Mbps download plan from Verizon’s FiOS, which costs $95 per month without a contract, but is less pricey than FiOS’ 150 Mbps plan, which costs $135 a month.


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